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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hive Combination continued

I can't say that there is a good ending. I'm not sure about the hive box that I put on top in the combination. Maybe the queen was in there although I didn't see evidence of her and didn't find her.

I put the two boxes together with slit newspaper in between and left them for a week. All of the Internet forums said that within that time the bees would chew through the newspaper and join each other. I should see a pile of chewed newspaper in front of the hive. Well, that never happened.

Instead I saw the bees carrying out larvae (see picture below) and saw a lot of conflict in front of the hive. I had been feeding both of these hives before the one was robbed out. I didn't feed them during the combination week and instead supplied the top box with two frames of honey on either side of the box. The lower hive had stored honey.


I opened the hives on Saturday to see what had happened. Evidence of the mayhem abounded. There were dead bees all over the newspaper and detritus from wax moths that had inhabited the top hive. I pulled off the newspaper, killed some wax moths and put the hive back together.

This coming weekend, I'll probably take off the top box and leave Hyron as a one-box hive. The combination was not a success. I'll have another opportunity to try to do it better in the future, I'm sure.
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1 comment:

  1. Linda,
    I enjoy reading you blog. I tried my first combine last week also. Process: I didn't smoke them or use newspaper. I took my jar of 1:1 syrup and heavily sprinkled both hives. The weak one was added to the top of a stronger one. I only put in the three frames that the bees were on and shook the rest in. I hung the frames in the top "feeder" box where I put the Boardman feeder and hung them to the side of the feeder.
    Result: Surprised to see no fighting. They stayed in their spot in the top corner of the hive and have built a queen cell. They want to remain an independent nation! The good part is that they are sort of protected by the ladies down stairs. Weird. You never can tell with bees!

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